This must be an important week

You know this must be an important week because virtually every other professional tour in the world has nothing scheduled as is often the case when up against a major. That includes the PGA Tour Champions, the Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Americas (which includes Canada), DP World Tour, LPGA and LIV Golf. Only the Epson Tour and the Asian Tour have the gall to go head-to-head with the Players Championship. Perhaps they didn’t get the memo.

You know it’s an important week on the PGA Tour schedule because Commissioner I’m Making $18 Million a Year and You’re Not spoke to the players and the media. He left the assembled throngs with more questions than answers and when pressed on the most critical matter facing his Tour, that of the framework agreement and a potential merger with the Saudi dudes, his only response is that negotiations are accelerating. Whatever that means.

You know this is an important week because it’s the fifth major and has the strongest field in pro golf. Except it doesn’t and didn’t last year either, thanks to those greedy LIV guys. But not to worry, Commissioner I’m Confident in My Job and Hopeful a Deal Can be Made has everything under control and the future of professional golf is bright under his direction.

It’s also an important week because it’s the 50th Anniversary of the Players Championship or maybe The PLAYERS. No matter what it’s called, the tournament has a rich tradition of exceptional competition on a tough golf course and a legacy of fine champions. The highlights over fifty years are too many to list but one that continues to stand out for me was 1982, when winner Jerry Pate threw Commissioner Deane Beman and course designer Pete Dye into the pond adjacent to the 18th green, then dove in himself.

It might be fitting if the 2024 winner recreated that historic moment.

Speaking of Pete Dye

Something of a controversy has arisen at the Players Championship this year because of lines of deep rough around the 16th, 17th and 18th greens that can stop an errant shot from rolling into the water. Yesterday as I watched, several balls on the 17th landed beyond the pin and spun back to this fringe on the front of the green. In previous years, they were wet. Now instead of a penalty stroke, players have a pretty easy chip to try and save par. Pete Dye designed TPC Sawgrass to be tough and those designs didn’t include guard rails. I don’t imagine he’d be impressed.

The Canadian Connection

There are seven Canadians competing at TPC Sawgrass this week: Nick Taylor, Corey Conners, Mackenzie Hughes, Adam Hadwin, Adam Svensson, Taylor Pendrith and Ben Silverman. All but Silverman rank in the Top 100 of the Official World Golf Rankings. To my recollection, that’s the first time we’ve had six Canadians in the Top 100. Canada isn’t exactly a professional golf powerhouse, but it looks like we’re punching above our weight right now. The US has 48 players in the Top 100 with England second at 7 and Canada and Australia tied at 6. In the words of legendary golf analyst Larry David, that’s, “Pretty, pretty, pretty good.”


To local golfers Gabriel Mainella of Summit Golf Club and Nobelle Park of RattleSnake Point who captured the Junior Boys and Junior Girls titles respectively at the Ontario Junior Players Invitational in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. …. And to Sebastian Szirmak of Toronto who won the Wipa’s Open on the Mexican Tour after a three-man playoff.

Courses Notes

GolfNorth Properties has added Hornby Glen to its portfolio. That’s welcome news after the course was closed in 2023. Originally built in 1964, Hornby Glen is a player-friendly course and has always been an affordable option for golfers in the west end of the GTA. GolfNorth now has 41 courses spread across Canada, although the bulk of them are in Southern Ontario. (Details HERE.) …… The City of Mississauga has announced a new program for 2024 that will permit residents a 5% discount on green fees and priority tee time bookings at their two courses: Braeben and Lakeview (Details HERE) …… The City of Burlington, after a long and transparent study, has decided that Tyandaga Golf Course will remain as an 18-hole course. There had been proposals calling for the course to close nine and dedicate that land to other recreational uses. However, saner heads prevailed. Rick Young has the full story HERE.

Hope you enjoy the Players Championship!

Peter Mumford
Peter Mumford is the Editor of Fairways Magazine. He's played over 500 different courses in 21 countries and met some fascinating people along the way. He's also a long-suffering Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

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